Tulane rugby looking to build for now and the future

Rugby player runs with the ball.

Courtesy of Tulane Rugby Football Club

Rugby player runs with the ball.

Harrison Simon, Staff Reporter

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If you find yourself headed for breakfast on a Saturday morning, you might be able to catch the Tulane Rugby Football Club in the middle of an intense match. 

The team, led by club president Nathaniel Beech, is expected to face some difficulties at the beginning of the season as it tries to replace the team’s entire front four, all of whom graduated last year. In addition, there is a record number of freshmen on the team this year, many of whom have never played rugby before.

Tulane Rugby Football Club smiles for a team photo.

While it may seem difficult to mix rugby novices with experienced vets, Beech said he thinks having players being taught by those with experience actually makes it easier to teach them. 

It’s actually what makes a lot of the kids stay,” Beech said. “Because when you’ve got somebody who’s been playing for years next to you and trying to help you and coach you on the field and also being pushed off the field by the actual coaches, it kind of [adds a sense of] camaraderie.”

The team, which last reached nationals in 2016, has fought hard in its first few contests. But it has fallen short in three of its four matches as of now, including an unfortunate 60-7 loss to the defending Deep South Conference champions, the nationally-ranked South Hill College.

Beech has very high expectations for the club he discusses the team’s prospects for the next couple of seasons. 

“I think we have maybe 15-20 rookies this year that are consistently coming out and playing … if you look into the future, two years from now, we’ll be a conference championship team and possibly going to nationals,” Beech said.

Beech also emphasized that the club is always welcoming new members.

We love seeing new guys, even if you’ve never played the game or [if you] joined halfway through this semester, we’ll do our best to get you in the loop on what’s going on with the team,” Beech said.

This weekend, the club is traveling to Louisiana Tech for its fifth match of the season, which will take place this Saturday, Nov. 9.